The wild radish (raphanus raphanistrum) is part of the Brassicaceae family. Also known as jointed charlock, this plant originates from the Mediterranean but it has become common around the world. The wild radish has developed a notorious reputation for being invasive and spreading rapidly.
This weed grows either annually or biennially, and each plant has four petals which vary in color – most commonly from white to purple. Seeds tend to germinate after rainy seasons, particularly in the autumn. Wild radish is also very resistant to frost. Raphanus raphanistrum prefers to grow in cereal fields, but thrives with vegetables such as potatoes too. It also grows regularly on grassy roadsides.
Wild radish grows to an erect height of around one meter, and boast a variety of leaves, many of which have bristle-like qualities.
Lawn maintenance with the wild radish plant is tricky, and to prevent growth, reducing the seed population by stopping it from seeding in the early season is necessary. Wild radish likes to grow in open areas, so maintaining a dense and thick lawn is an advisable lawn care strategy.
Weed control can also be achieved by using herbicides, which regulate the growth of wild radish. Dicamba is an ideal herbicide to use as it is safe to use on grass. When using herbicides in a lawn service, the correct timing is essential. Research indicates that the best time to stop the growth of wild radish is before the plants have reached six inches in height. At this point, there is a 90 percent success rate, however this drops to 70 percent once the plant has doubled in size.
The young leaves from a wild radish plant are edible, and can be eaten either raw or cooked. The leaves tend to have a fiery taste and are often served in salads. The flower buds can also be used as an alternative to broccoli.